Philosophy of Travel


Below are some tips that communicate the Chasing Linnaeus approach to travel.  To get a feel for the sort of perspective we encourage on our expeditions, give these points a read and see if one of our trips is right for you.

  • Understand that, overall, the destination is actually only a small fraction of your trip: it's the experiences and interactions with others that will define your time and the moments that will be remembered later on.  Travel with an open mind – savor the journey.
  • Once you arrive at the airport of your destination, take a moment to sit down and have some tea or coffee. Spend some time watching the people around you: it will give you a chance to take a breath and get a first glimpse of the local culture.  (However, sometimes you do have to grab that cab or meet up with your travel group immediately after landing, so this isn't always possible.  But it's also a good ritual to get into before you board your plane for your trip: allow yourself the opportunity to think about the journey that lies ahead and how you're feeling as you go into the experience.)

  • Recognise and accept early on that things can and likely will go wrong at some point during your trip.  You might lose your luggage.  You might take the wrong taxi or subway line.  Don't get too frustrated: these moments often end up making some of the best stories.

  • Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.  Realize that every journey is an opportunity in personal growth and part of that often includes stepping outside your comfort zone.

  • Learn the basics of the local language before arriving.  Even just learning simple phrases such as "Hello" and "Thank You" can make an impact on your connections with the locals.  (We also recommend reading at least one book about or based in the location you will be visiting.)

  • Call your bank before you leave and let them know you'll be traveling.  Find out about any fees you may be charged for using your debit card internationally and make sure to tell them the countries you'll be traveling through so your account won't be flagged if it's used in an unusual location.

  • Participate in activities both on and off the beaten path.  Tourist attractions exist for a reason: don't miss out on something just because you think you're too cool for it...but also don't be afraid of taking an unprompted detour.  (While Chasing Linnaeus expeditions are generally based on the principle of creating uncommon trips, there are aspects of some that take full advantage of visiting a location's obligatory roadside attractions: sometimes that cheesy little museum or roadside stand will be the most memorable part of the adventure.)

  • Know that it's okay to feel overwhelmed or discouraged.  And if you are, please let us know: we want to make sure your experience is the best it can possibly be, and we want to help you work through that frustration when possible.

  • Do your research about the customs of the destination you'll be visiting before you go.  Don't expect the locals to adhere to your cultural standards.  Understand and accept that you are the visitor.

  • Let go of your expectations and keep yourself open to any and all possibilities.

  • Don't spend too much time on the Internet: one of the greatest things about traveling is being able to get away from it all.  Enjoy the fact that you can disconnect for a while.

  • Take pure joy out of finding beauty in the simple details.

  • Don't over plan your itinerary.  Take things slow.  Don't focus too much on maximizing every day to the fullest.  Immerse yourself in each experience instead of rushing to the next thing.  (Chasing Linnaeus expeditions purposefully create a varied rhythm: there are times when we may be doing a lot of traveling on one particular day, and then there will be a change-up where we can settle in and really relish a location.  Be open to what needs to happen during each leg of the journey, and be sure to enjoy each part of it.)

  • Exercise caution but avoid paranoia: you'll realize that most people are the same all over the world and not out to harm you.

  • Keep the location of your hotel/etc. written down somewhere in a hidden pocket.  This helps if you get lost or forget the name or address of where you're staying.

  • Do as the locals do.  Eat street food.  Take public transportation.  Try to understand and see the world through their eyes.

  • Be humble.  Be gracious.  Be kind.